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18th Dec 2022

Roy Keane gives apt response to Ian Wright’s attempt at pre-match wind-up

Patrick McCarry

Ian Wright

“A player can sit back for a single second and think, well, it’s meant to be.”

Roy Keane may have been rocking a country & western moustache, but he arrived at the World Cup Final in the mood for some serious analysis. Ian Wright, as per usual, was hoping for a mix of that and some piss-ripping of his fellow pundit.

As part of the World Cup Final preview, ITV host Mark Pougatch hit upon a written in the stars narrative, revolving around Lionel Messi playing his final game at the tournament.

Pougatch asked Keane and Gary Neville, who both featured heavily in Manchester United’s run to win the treble in 1999, if sometimes winning ugly and getting through the tight games bolsters a side’s belief that it could be their destiny to win the big prize.

Before either man could get too deep into their answers, Ian Wright chipped in with a remark that probably stung Keane so much because it was true.

Ian Wright

Ian Wright prods Roy Keane on ‘Treble’

As Mark Pougatch teed up Roy Keane with a ‘did you ever believe it was meant to be?’ comment, Ian Wright jumped in:

“Did you see the final? Bayern should have murdered them!”

Gary Neville laughed but Keane fixed Wright with a stare for several seconds before deigning not to respond to the remark.

Ian Wright(Credit: ITV)

Instead, Keane answered the original question – “No, I don’t think you ever do. I know there is talk about Messi and how he is destined to win it, but you have to go out and produce. That’s the bottom line.

“You need a few breaks and you have maybe a couple of frights along the way, like Argentina have, and you get a reaction. But I don’t think a player can sit back for a single second and think, well, it’s meant to be.”

As Keane was giving that response, Neville turned to Wright who could not contain a giggle. He knew he had got under Keane’s skin.

The Cork native was suspended for that 1999 Champions League final, against Bayern Munich, along with Paul Scholes. The Germans were 1-0 from early doors and missed a few golden chances before two late United goals saw them seal victory and, along with it, the treble.

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